Tuesday, 26 November 2019


I was very struck by a new post by Merl Fluin. You can read it here: https://gorgoninfurs.com/2019/11/24/were-all-members-of-a-secret-society-are-you/?fbclid=IwAR0EEWrgWN9-Knn7TTQOz1LJFzTvq25A6pmaBQ2xRUyoRZYA590OyDjNz7w

I don't always agree with Merl, although mostly on degrees of emphasis and nuance rather than principle, but I thought that, at least on first reading, as I travelled through the wastes of South East London, this resonated with me very strongly. I did think it worth throwing in a few extra, possibly stray, thoughts on the subject.

Worth reading, if you don't know it, Jean Ferry's "Kafka, Or The Secret Society" which I know from the book "Custom-House Of Desire" edited by J.H. Matthews, but you can find it online here:

Also, incidentally, nobody told me there was a book of Ferry's stories available in English: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jean-Ferry-Conductor-Other-Tales/dp/1939663016

Consider also the idea of the Egregore, found in esoteric traditions, but also in surrealism, through Pierre Mabille. Although this concept has been described in terms of a 'group mind', understandings of the idea are quite variable. Mabille's own understanding is expounded fully in his book "Egregores Ou la Vie Des Civilisations" which unfortunately has not been translated into English, but a brief explanation can be found in Michael Richardson's book on Bataille: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Pg9RxLKMOgQC&pg=PT41&lpg=PT41&dq=mabille+egregore&source=bl&ots=UJa0QYkCJy&sig=ACfU3U1bDZZmW5DCwtQHRPVoVh8MPJRvOQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwipu6mQ8YfmAhWHSRUIHXK_AE8Q6AEwA3oECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=mabille%20egregore&f=false

One of the most important points for me in Merl's post was the opposition of the mass and the collective. It seems to me that this is often not understood and that many who would espouse individualism imagine that any collective effort must be opposed to individual freedom. But we are always, like it or not, social animals, and even our solitude is socially conditioned. In fact good social bonds can encourage individuality and personal freedom. Oddly enough, the very proponents of individualism are often the most conventional-minded, the most conformist and the least respectful of difference. Too often their doctrine is "you have a perfect right to be just like me!" Better to be like Thelonious Monk.

Image result for thelonius monk underground

Wednesday, 6 November 2019


I want to try something a little bit different, to make a blog post that is additive over  a period of time, to post the bare bones, a few suggestions, invite dialogue and add and edit the text accordingly. If I am interested in my own thought, it is more than mere narcissism, it is the thought that immediately presents itself to me, but it is far from being the entirety of surrealist thought on the notion of community. So I'd like to suggest that this post could become a communal thought of what the surrealist community might be. Also that having shaped this, I leave it open enough for others to take up the idea and either make their own thoughts or collections of thoughts available to each other and to 'the world' - which will no doubt be duly grateful...

Therefore I would like to ask my fellow surrealists to post in the comments section here, ideas, practices, references, on community, collective action, utopian thought, experiments in intersubjectivity, reflections on the concept of a "surrealist civilisation". If this can become a part of a dialogue, a new document might be built up from it, or maybe we'll find a lot of more or less interesting, but very disparate thoughts and comments.